Versatility and ability to affect the wound-healing process make HA a key player in regenerative medicine
▻ Even though the human body presents astonishing self-healing capabilities, sometimes it requires the aid of external materials to reach complete regeneration. This assumption gave rise to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, disciplines that apply bio-engineering and life sciences to the generation and replacement of cells, tissues or organs.
Hyaluronic Acid is biocompatible, biodegradable and not immunogenic, it is naturally present in the extracellular matrix of all living tissues and plays a central role in influencing cell behaviour. As such, meeting most of criteria involved in designing biomaterials for tissue engineering, it has been extensively explored for its potential in the field of regenerative medicine.
Hyaluronic Acid can be retraced all throughout the four main stages of the wound healing process: the hemostasis phase, inflammatory phase, proliferation phase and maturation phase. Its effects vary upon its molecular weight and it has been observed that higher molecular weight HA promotes anti-inflammatory responses and presents anti-oxidative properties, while lower-MW molecules tend to induce inflammation.
Soon after a wound occurs, the hyaluronans presence in the wounded area increases and, during the early phases of the healing process, the large-sized HA structure facilitates the mobilisation of nutrients and wastes in and out the injury site. Hyaluronic Acid is also a significant regulator of some endothelial cell behaviours such as migration, proliferation and differentiation. The inflammation triggered by lower MW HA activates several healing and repairing cells that enter the wound site during the inflammatory phase.
Furthermore, for being so hydrophilic, its presence enhances tissue hydration, thus weakening the cells’ ability to anchor to the extracellular matrix and facilitating their detachment for migration. Water-bound hyaluronic acid tends to aggregate in parallel filaments that act as biochemical “tracks”. Along these tracks, fibroblasts are recruited from surrounding tissues and dispatched towards the location in which a new deposition of connective tissue is required, where fibroblasts provide new bundles of collagen fibres. Hyaluronans also affect the proliferation and migration of keratinocytes, the skin cells that produce keratin.
Acting in a similar way, oral intake of high molecular weight HA has also shown to provide extremely beneficial effects in the healing process of the gastric mucosa, making hyaluronic acid supplements such as SinoHyal FG-H or SinoHyal FG-XH very promising allies in reducing symptoms of acid reflux.